There’s a wide range of pregnancy tests on the market — some for as little $1! — but according to Google Trends, a growing number of women are checking out a new DIY trend. It’s known as the “toothpaste pregnancy test,” and a YouTube tutorial published in November 2016 has racked up more than 2 million views.
Here’s how it works: Just squeeze a small amount of plain white toothpaste on a dish and add a few drops of morning urine. Then mix it up and wait for about three minutes. If a woman is pregnant, the toothpaste will froth and might even turn a bluish color. If nothing changes, the test is negative.
It’s unclear when the toothpaste pregnancy test became a thing, but according to the website babyprepping.com,“it was often used decades ago when pregnancy tests weren’t easily found in stores, especially for women living in rural settings.”
Scientists and medical professionals urge women not to take the trend too seriously. “The fizz in the toothpaste is caused by the acid in the urine reacting with the calcium carbonate in the toothpaste to give off carbon dioxide,” pharmacist Stuart Gale told The Huffington Post UK in May. “The more acidic the urine is, the greater fizz.”
Dr. Jamil Abdur-Rahman has another take on the toothpaste pregnancy test and offers an explanation as to why many men see positive results. According Abdur-Rahman a pregnant woman’s urine is actually less acidic. “All urine when mixed with toothpaste should fizz,” the Ob-Gyn tells Us Weekly. “But with pregnant women, the reaction and the resulting fizzing would be less pronounced.”
Long story short: Buy a trusted brand of pregnancy tests at the drug store before announcing your big news on Instagram!